Celebrate Spring With Our Asparagus And Fingerling Potato Salad From Earth To Plate

Celebrate spring with our delicious asparagus and fingerling potato salad. A culinary journey from earth to plate, flavors that capture the season's spirit.
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Embracing the bounty of spring’s fresh offerings, I crafted a delicious asparagus and fingerling potato salad. Picture slender, verdant asparagus and petite, smooth-skinned fingerling potatoes. It is complemented by cherry tomatoes, sweet red onions, colorful bell peppers, and a restaurant-quality confit garlic puree. All are infused with the aromatic essence of fresh thyme and mint. I introduce seasoned cottage cheese, blended with the same fresh herbs, to tie it all together.

These new seasonal ingredients not only inspire my culinary creations but also encourage you to embark on the journey of preparing healthy and delicious meals. When combined in a salad, these diverse flavors unite to create a truly delectable dish that pays homage to the beauty of spring.

The gem lies in the seasoned cottage cheese, flavored with thyme and mint, which serves as the unifying element for this salad. Together, these components weave a culinary tapestry, presenting a meal that truly celebrates the abundant seasonal gifts of spring, from the earth to your plate.

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Asparagus And Fingerling Potato Salad

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Asparagus And Fingerling Potato Salad Ingredient Deep Dive

The culinary world of vibrant flavors and textures. Let’s explore the key ingredients in my asparagus and fingerling potato salad. We are unraveling each component’s unique qualities and contributions, offering insights of this colorful and tasty culinary creation.

The Ingredients You’ll Need

  • 6 Yellow fingerling potatoes.
  • 5 Purple asparagus.
  • 8 Cherry Tomatoes.
  • 2 Bell peppers.
  • 2 Red onions.
  • 4 sprigs of Thyme.
  • 1 sprig of Mint.
  • 10 Garlic cloves.
  • ½ cup Cottage cheese.
  • Himalayan pink salt and fresh ground black pepper.
  • Opt for high smoke point oils such as sunflower, corn, or rice bran oil.
  • 1 cup Rice bran oil. (for confit garlic).
Asparagus And Fingerling Potato Salad Ingredients
  • Purple Asparagus — They enhance the texture of salads and have become my preferred vegetable during spring. Their season is brief in New Zealand, prompting me to embrace their presence fully. These slender spears perfectly complement fingerling potatoes and cherry tomatoes. My preferred preparation involves peeling the stringy skin from the stalks while keeping the spear intact. When selecting fresh asparagus, look for plump and fresh spears, avoiding those that have gone to seed or appear wrinkled and wilted.
  • Fingerling Potatoes — With their sleek and delicate skin, they are delicious when roasted in their natural jackets. Available in various colors, including red, purple, yellow, and white. These potatoes boast a waxy and creamy texture, making them versatile additions to salads. When selecting new-season fingerling potatoes, opt for those firm with smooth, clean skins. Avoid any cracks, soft spots, or green patches.
  • Cherry Tomatoes — As spring progresses, sweet cherry tomatoes become available. With their sweet and juicy centers, these little gems infuse salads with moisture and texture. Tomatoes, with their myriad varieties and flavors, are truly remarkable. Their petite size and flavor explosion make them an ideal addition to salads. Seek out fresh cherry tomatoes from local farmer’s markets or boutique vegetable stores for the best quality.
  • Red Onions — They possess a gentler flavor compared to other onion varieties. Roasting them brings a savory sweetness that seamlessly infuses into salads. Contributing layers of taste without dominating the other ingredients. Opt for shiny red onions that are firm, and avoid those that have sprouted or developed soft spots.
  • Bell Peppers — Roasted bell peppers, in a medley of red, orange, and yellow varieties, contribute more than just vibrant color. Each hue brings a unique taste profile; when roasted, their sweetness becomes captivating and delicious. Seek out bright and shiny bell peppers, avoiding any with brown marks or wrinkled soft spots.
  • Fresh Mint And Thyme — They both thrive abundantly in our garden. There is an ample supply of both herbs. Chiffonade the mint, this brings a burst of minty freshness to salads. Meanwhile, the thyme leaves contribute a subtly sweet and earthy herbaceous flavor to any dish they grace. Infusing a salad with these fresh herbs elevates each bite, imparting a delightful aromatic essence.
  • Cottage Cheese — Provides a cool and tangy contrast to the vibrant asparagus and fingerling potato salad, offering a creamy texture. Enhance it with a generous sprinkling of sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, and the addition of fresh thyme and mint, and you’ll have a superb salad topping as an alternative to yogurt or cheese. Cottage cheese allows the natural tastes of the other ingredients to shine.
  • Truffle Oil — Captures the essence of the forest in a bottle. Infused with the rich flavor of black truffles, this highly aromatic oil introduces earthy and creamy notes to my asparagus and fingerling potato salad. Recognized as one of the most coveted ingredients in gourmet cuisine, truffles are often elusive and expensive. To overcome this challenge, truffle oil was crafted, allowing the distinctive taste of truffles to enhance dishes throughout the year.
TruffleHunter - Black & White Truffle Oil Set & Black Truffle Slices

The Method To Creating An Amazing Asparagus And Fingerling Potato Salad

Creating a fantastic asparagus and fingerling potato salad involves a thoughtful and meticulous method to ensure a perfect blend of flavors and textures. My process involves a series of steps designed to enhance the natural qualities of each ingredient.

  • Preheat your oven to 200°C (400°F) — For a convection oven 185°C (360°F) — Gas mark 4.5.

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Prepping The Vegetables

  1. Asparagus — To prep the asparagus, peel the stems, leaving the spears. Snap off the woody ends, rinse, and pat dry with paper towels.
Peeling Purple Asparagus
Peeled and Washed Purple Asparagus
  1. Fingerling Potatoes — Give them a gentle scrub under water to remove any dirt without breaking the skin. In case of varying sizes, cut larger potatoes into halves or quarters to match the smallest ones, ensuring even cooking. Pat them dry with a paper towel. Coat them with rice bran oil and a sprinkling of Himalayan pink salt.
    • Bell Peppers — Cut the bell pepper in half and remove the seeds. Coat them with rice bran oil and a sprinkling of Himalayan pink salt.
    • Red Onions — Cut the red onions in half and remove any onion paper and unwanted skin. Coat them with rice bran oil and a sprinkling of Himalayan pink salt.
    • Cherry Tomatoes — Half the cherry tomatoes and place into a bowl. Season with sea salt and some of the fresh thyme leaves.

Chefs Pro Tip — Seasoning the cherry tomatoes and letting them sit for 10 minutes will draw out moisture and intensify their flavor. This is a process I do often to get maximum flavor from tomatoes.

Prepped Vegetables Red Onions Potatoes and Bell Peppers
Red Onions Potatoes and Bell Peppers Ready For Roasting
Fresh Thyme Mint and Cherry Tomatoes
Seasoned Cherry Tomatoes

Roasting Vegetables

  1. Roasting Vegetables — Lay the fingerling potatoes, bell peppers, and red onions onto a baking tray lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Place into the pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes. Halfway through cooking turn the potatoes and red onions.
  • Once the bell peppers are roasted (they will be soft, and the skins will be blistered). Place the hot bell peppers into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. This will create a steam chamber, loosening the skins and making them easier to peel.

Helpful Tips For Preparing And Cooking Fingerling Potatoes

Preparing fingerling potatoes begins with a gentle scrub under water to remove any dirt without breaking the skin. In case of varying sizes, cut larger potatoes into halves or quarters to match the smallest ones, ensuring even cooking. Pat them dry with a paper towel to promote better adherence to seasonings.

  • Roasting — Toss the potatoes with oil, salt, pepper, and desired herbs/spices. Roast at 220°C (418°F) for 25-35 minutes, flipping halfway through, until a crispy exterior and tenderness inside are achieved when pierced with a fork.
  • Boiling — Cover the potatoes with cold, salted water in a pot. Boil for 15-25 minutes until easily pierced through with a fork. Drain thoroughly before tossing with butter and fresh herbs or incorporating other ingredients.
  • Pan-Frying — I recommended boiling the fingerling potatoes first. Then, fry them over medium-high heat in oil for 10-15 minutes per side until a deep golden brown exterior is developed.
Prepped Asparagus and Fingerling Potato Salad
Roasted Bell Peppers

Roasting Asparagus

  1. Roasting Asparagus — Season and oil the asparagus place in a single layer into the baking tray and roast for 10-12 minutes. Once roasted slice them in half on a sharp angle. This is for presentation purposes.

Helpful Tips For Preparing And Cooking Asparagus

Preparing asparagus begins by snapping off the woody bottom of each spear, allowing it to break naturally where the tenderness ends. Peel the stringy skin away for medium to thick asparagus, leaving the tender spear intact. After a quick rinse to remove any grit or debris, pat the spears dry with paper towels.

  • Blanching — Bring a pot or saucepan to a boil, generously seasoning with sea salt. Drop the cleaned spears into the boiling water for 1-2 minutes until tender but still crisp. Shock them in an ice bath to enhance their natural color and preserve vibrancy.
  • Roasting — Toss dry spears with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then roast on a baking sheet at 205°C (400°F) for 10-12 minutes, achieving a light browning and tenderness.
  • Sautéing Or Stir-Frying — Heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Toss the spears frequently for 3-5 minutes until the desired tenderness is reached. Season with sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, and fresh mint.

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Seasoning Cottage Cheese

  1. Cottage Cheese — Place the cottage into a bowl generously seasoned with freshly ground black pepper and a little sea salt. Mix in the chiffonade of mint and some thyme leaves.
Seasoned Cottage Cheese

Restaurant Quality Confit Garlic Puree

  1. Confit Garlic Puree — Start by breaking apart the head of garlic into individual cloves. Then, peel the papery skin off each clove to expose the garlic flesh. Toss the peeled garlic sprigs of thyme in a small saucepan. Now add the rice bran oil. You want enough to cover the garlic.
    • Now, place the saucepan on the element set to the lowest setting. This will gently heat the oil. Let the saucepan slowly tick over. There can be tiny bubbles moving slowly around the garlic. This is normal. Confit for 1-1 ½ hours, depending on the size of the garlic cloves. You will know the confit garlic is done. It will be a light golden color when you can easily pierce the garlic with a knife.
Confit Garlic With Thyme
Confit Garlic Cloves
Sieved Confit Garlic Puree
Finished Confit Garlic Puree
  • If a clove still seems firm, confit them for longer in 15-minute increments, testing frequently. Strain the garlic through a fine sieve (keep the garlic-flavored oil). Now, using a spoon, pass the confit garlic through the sieve. This is a little more work. However, it is well worth it. You will have the most velvety smooth confit garlic puree. Season the confit garlic puree with Himalayan pink salt, then taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

Plating Your Asparagus And Fingerling Potato Salad

I start by mixing the confit garlic puree with the vegetables. Plating my asparagus and fingerling potato salad is a moment of culinary artistry. I begin by arranging the tender fingerling potatoes and sweet red onions on the plate.

Next, I add the roasted bell peppers and seasoned cherry tomatoes. Next, I arrange the vibrant asparagus spears, followed by spoonfuls of artfully placed herbed cottage cheese. The last touches are freshly cracked black pepper, a drizzle of truffle oil, and a sprinkling of fresh thyme and mint leaves.

As I meticulously plate the asparagus and fingerling potato salad, I pay attention to the symphony of colors and textures. The deep purple-green of the asparagus contrasts beautifully with the golden-brown hues of the roasted fingerling potatoes.

The bright red cherry tomatoes and colored bell peppers, with a sprinkle of fresh herbs like thyme and mint, create a visually appealing salad. You can use my asparagus and fingerling potato salad as a centerpiece for your next dinner party.

Asparagus And Fingerling Potato Salad
Asparagus And Fingerling Potato Salad

Yes, you can add other vegetables to enhance the salad. Adding spring vegetables like English radishes for a fresh, crunchy texture. Or sugar snap peas for color and simplicity. Or even roasted baby carrots for sweetness and color. The key is to maintain a balance, allowing the asparagus and fingerling potatoes to remain the stars of the dish.

Wholegrain mustard vinaigrette is a dressing that complements an asparagus and fingerling potato salad. Combining extra virgin olive oil, wholegrain mustard, Chinese black vinegar, and honey enhances the natural flavors of the asparagus and fingerling potatoes without overpowering them.

While fingerling potatoes contribute a unique flavor and creamy texture, you can substitute other waxy potatoes like baby or purple potatoes or Yukon Gold. Waxy potatoes hold their shape well and absorb any dressing effectively.

Cooking Is A Science And A Skill

Cooking Without Guesswork Know Your Conversions

Cooking is a science and a skill that requires a deep understanding of both the technical and creative aspects. Cooking is also a matter of precise measurements and ratios.

For example, baking is particularly sensitive to accurate measurements and temperatures. A slight deviation in the amount of an ingredient or cooking degrees can result in a completely different outcome.

So, to help you, here is a handy little unit converter tool for cooking without guesswork.

Asparagus And Fingerling Potato Salad

Celebrate Spring With Our Asparagus And Fingerling Potato Salad From Earth To Plate

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PREP TIME: | 15 minutes
COOK TIME: | 35 minutes
TOTAL TIME: | 50 minutes
SERVINGS: | 2 people
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DISH SUMMARY

Celebrate spring with our delicious asparagus and fingerling potato salad. A culinary journey from earth to plate, flavors that capture the season's spirit.

Ingredients

  • 6 Fingerling potatoes yellow or purple
  • 5 Asparagus purple or green
  • 8 Cherry tomatoes
  • 2 Bell peppers red or yellow
  • 2 Red onions
  • 4 sprigs Thyme fresh
  • 1 sprig Mint fresh
  • 10 cloves Garlic
  • ½ cup Cottage cheese
  • Himalayan pink salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Cooking oil sunflower, corn, or rice bran
  • 1 cup Rice bran oil. for confit garlic

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to oven top bottom200 °C — For a convection oven oven fan185 °C — Gas mark 4.5.
    Asparagus — To prep the asparagus, peel the stems, leaving the spears. Snap off the woody ends, rinse, and pat dry with paper towels.
    Peeled and Washed Purple Asparagus
  • Fingerling Potatoes — Give them a gentle scrub under water to remove any dirt without breaking the skin. In case of varying sizes, cut larger potatoes into halves or quarters to match the smallest ones, ensuring even cooking. Pat them dry with a paper towel. Coat them with rice bran oil and a sprinkling of Himalayan pink salt.
    Bell Peppers — Cut the bell pepper in half and remove the seeds. Coat them with rice bran oil and a sprinkling of Himalayan pink salt.
    Red Onions — Cut the red onions in half and remove any onion paper and unwanted skin. Coat them with rice bran oil and a sprinkling of Himalayan pink salt.
    Cherry Tomatoes — Half the cherry tomatoes and place into a bowl. Season with sea salt and some of the fresh thyme leaves.
    Prepped Vegetables Red Onions Potatoes and Bell Peppers
  • Roasting Vegetables — Lay the fingerling potatoes, bell peppers, and red onions onto a baking tray lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Place into the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes. Halfway through cooking, turn the potatoes and red onions.
    Roasting Asparagus — Season and oil the asparagus place in a single layer into the baking tray and roast for 10-12 minutes. Once roasted slice them in half on a sharp angle. This is for presentation purposes.
    Red Onions Potatoes and Bell Peppers Ready For Roasting
  • Confit Garlic Puree — Start by breaking apart the head of garlic into individual cloves. Then, peel the papery skin off each clove to expose the garlic flesh. Toss the peeled garlic sprigs of thyme in a small saucepan. Now add the rice bran oil. You want enough to cover the garlic.
    Now, place the saucepan on the element set to the lowest setting. This will gently heat the oil. Let the saucepan slowly tick over. There can be tiny bubbles moving slowly around the garlic. This is normal. Confit for 1-1 ½ hours, depending on the size of the garlic cloves. You will know the confit garlic is done. It will be a light golden color when you can easily pierce the garlic with a knife.
    Confit Garlic With Thyme
  • If a clove still seems firm, confit them for longer in 15-minute increments, testing frequently. Strain the garlic through a fine sieve (keep the garlic-flavored oil). Now, using a spoon, pass the confit garlic through the sieve. This is a little more work. However, it is well worth it. You will have the most velvety smooth confit garlic puree. Season the confit garlic puree with Himalayan pink salt, then taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
    Finished Confit Garlic Puree
  • Plating — I start by mixing the confit garlic puree with the vegetables. Plating my asparagus and fingerling potato salad is a moment of culinary artistry. I begin by arranging the tender fingerling potatoes and sweet red onions on the plate.
    Next, I add the roasted bell peppers and seasoned cherry tomatoes. Next, I arrange the vibrant asparagus spears, followed by spoonfuls of artfully placed herbed cottage cheese. The last touches are freshly cracked black pepper, a drizzle of truffle oil, and a sprinkling of fresh thyme and mint leaves.
    Asparagus And Fingerling Potato Salad

Chef Tips

Cherry Tomatoes — Seasoning the cherry tomatoes and letting them sit for 10 minutes will draw out moisture and intensify their flavor. This is a process I do often to get maximum flavor from tomatoes.
Bell Peppers — Once the bell peppers are roasted (they will be soft, and the skins will be blistered). Place the hot bell peppers into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. This will create a steam chamber, loosening the skins and making them easier to peel.
HELPFUL TIPS FOR PREPARING AND COOKING FINGERLING POTATOES
Preparing fingerling potatoes begins with a gentle scrub under water to remove dirt without breaking the skin. If the potatoes are varying sizes, cut larger ones into halves or quarters to match the smallest ones, ensuring even cooking. Pat them dry with a paper towel to promote better adherence to seasonings.
  • Roasting — Toss the potatoes with oil, salt, pepper, and desired herbs/spices. Roast at 220°C (418°F) for 25-35 minutes, flipping halfway through, until a crispy exterior and tenderness inside are achieved when pierced with a fork.
  • Boiling — Cover the potatoes with cold, salted water in a pot. Boil for 15-25 minutes until easily pierced through with a fork. Drain thoroughly before tossing with butter and fresh herbs or incorporating other ingredients.
  • Pan-Frying — I recommend boiling the fingerling potatoes first. Then, fry them over medium-high heat in oil for 10-15 minutes per side until a deep golden brown exterior is developed.
HELPFUL TIPS FOR PREPARING AND COOKING ASPARAGUS
Preparing asparagus begins by snapping off the woody bottom of each spear, allowing it to break naturally where the tenderness ends. Peel the stringy skin away for medium to thick asparagus, leaving the tender spear intact. After a quick rinse to remove any grit or debris, pat the spears dry with paper towels.
  • Blanching — Bring a pot or saucepan to a boil, generously seasoning with sea salt. Drop the cleaned spears into the boiling water for 1-2 minutes until tender but still crisp. Shock them in an ice bath to enhance their natural color and preserve vibrancy.
  • Roasting — Toss dry spears with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then roast on a baking sheet at 205°C (400°F) for 10-12 minutes, achieving a light browning and tenderness.
  • Sautéing Or Stir-Frying — Heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Toss the spears frequently for 3-5 minutes until the desired tenderness is reached. Season with sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, and fresh mint.
PLATING THE SALAD
As I meticulously plate the asparagus and fingerling potato salad, I pay attention to the symphony of colors and textures. The deep purple-green of the asparagus contrasts beautifully with the golden-brown hues of the roasted fingerling potatoes.
The bright red cherry tomatoes and colored bell peppers, with a sprinkle of fresh herbs like thyme and mint, create a visually appealing salad. You can use my asparagus and fingerling potato salad as a centerpiece for your next dinner party.

Nutrition

Serving>1serve | Calories>663kcal | Carbohydrates>141g | Protein>24g | Fat>4g | Saturated Fat>1g | Polyunsaturated Fat>1g | Monounsaturated Fat>0.5g | Cholesterol>9mg | Sodium>224mg | Potassium>3461mg | Fiber>20g | Sugar>19g | Vitamin A>4567IU | Vitamin C>312mg | Calcium>207mg | Iron>8mg
COURSE:
Appetizer
|
Main Course
CUISINE:
New Zealand
KEYWORD:
Fingerling Potatoes
|
Purple Asparagus
|
Vegetarian

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